Getting the Fischer ready for its modern-day debut

Larry Combs, with Property Medic/Davis Furniture Co. of Louisville, Ky., works on the seating inside the Fischer Theatre on Friday.

DANVILLE – Preparations will be ongoing right up until show time Saturday for the grand opening concert of The Lettermen at the Fischer Theatre.

Doors open at 4 p.m. for those with dinner tickets. The dinner starts at 5 p.m. Those bringing their dinner tickets will then receive a keepsake lanyard.

Those with concert-only tickets can start entering at 6 p.m. for the 7 p.m. concert. The show is sold out for the 844 available seats.

Vermilion Heritage Foundation Board President Cher Pollock said it took only 12 days for all the tickets to be sold.

“We’re excited,” Pollock said.

She and Heritage board member Jeanne Ward last week started naming off all the things that still had to be completed before opening night.

Those tasks included: laying carpet, finishing the installation of seats, working on sound and lighting, installing sconces and putting in light bulbs, getting the product in for the two concessions areas, putting chandeliers and the concert program together, getting enough volunteers to serve as ushers and help out and “cleaning, cleaning, cleaning,” Ward said.

For sconces, they’ve been cutting old stained glass from the theater’s marquee and utilizing a 3D printer to make them.

“There’s a lot of things we still need,” Pollock added, about the finishing touches needed throughout the theater.

They’ve needed more tables and chairs, for example. They’ve added railings where needed, and things continue to come up and be noticed.

The internet is one of the modern-day aspects for the fire alarm system and elevator, Pollock said.

Pollock said The Lettermen themselves, including Bobby Poynton of Monticello, also have been very helpful with advice in getting the theater ready.

She said when Julius Hegeler, who funded the multi-million dollar building renovation, would regularly come into the theater during construction, he would make remarks about items.

“He would ask us questions to push us to do more,” Pollock said.

There will be a tribute to Hegeler, who died in July, as part of the program and everything they do that night, Pollock said.

“It’s bittersweet without him,” Ward said.

In addition to The Lettermen concert, a blues concert featuring Duke Tumatoe is scheduled at the Fischer for Oct. 19.

Showings of “The Wizard of Oz” movie also will be coming up for the Oct. 4 First Friday and Soul Garden Recovery’s Pumpkin Fest on Oct. 5.

Pollock said they will participate in First Fridays through the end of the year including having a movie during the Harry Potter-themed First Friday on Nov. 1.

She said they will be trying to book local talent and performers, such as for variety shows, in addition to expected partnerships in the future with organizations such as DLO Musical Theatre. She said they want to be eclectic in their programming and offer programs and shows with varying price ranges that appeal to all ages.

Community theater will be important to the Fischer, Pollock also said.

The Vermilion Heritage Foundation, which owns the Fischer Theatre, also continues its Friends of the Fischer Theatre campaign to ask for continuing financial support for the operational and programming goals for the theatre. There are various levels of support ranging from $60 to $2,400 a year which includes newsletters, gift shop discounts, VIP seating at future events and marquee messages the higher of a supporter one decides to be.

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